The Bloomberg administration has launched a program to help speed up the restoration of New York City waterfront communities that were battered by Superstorm Sandy.
The city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development released a request for qualifications last week seeking developers who would help rebuild one- to four-family homes. More than six months after Sandy, hundreds of houses across the five boroughs still need to be rebuilt. The city said putting the rebuilding work in the hands of a few experts would not only make it easier for displaced families to return home but also create more continuity within affected neighborhoods. The program is entirely voluntary, however, and if individual homeowners want to work with their own developers, designers and contractors, they can.
New zoning and building codes tied to new FEMA flood maps and other regulations stemming from the storms, such as raising homes and using new materials, have been implemented.
Under the request for qualification process, the city has divided affected areas up into six groups, and developers would take charge in each area: Breezy Point in Queens; the rest of the Rockaways and Broad Channel in Queens; Staten Island; Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach and Gerritsen Beach in Brooklyn; scattered home sites in the Bronx, Queens and Manhattan; and scattered mixed-use buildings (residences with attached commercial spaces, usually ground-floor retail) in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.
The program is aimed at rebuilding 400 to 750 properties with a portion of the $350 million in funding allocated to repair smaller properties from the $1.77 billion in federal Sandy aid being provided to the city. However, the total money spent for the program depends on how many homeowners participate.